Thursday, October 1, 2009

Second Impact Syndrome

After looking at the “fencing response” that occurs in serious head injuries, it is also important to look at the hidden dangers of concussions and multiple concussions. I am not alone in the thought that there is no such thing as a mild brain injury. Especially at the high school level, football (as well as other) athletes often hide the fact that they may have had a slight concussion. The culture of sport needs to be changed so that if an athlete receives a cerebral concussion, they do not return to play until released based upon recognized neurological guidelines. There are several return to play guidelines which basically means that that there is not a general consensus among physicians. The guidelines developed from Dr. Cantu and from the Colorado Medical Society are considered to be on the more conservative when compared to the others. But, when we are talking about life, quality of life and even the possibility of death, conservative is what we need. At the very least, the injured athlete should not return to play until they are asymptomatic for 1 week. The video below illustrates the importance of recognizing concussions and providing the necessary care and rest.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

en garde - the Fencing Response

En garde… The fencing position has become a notable response in serious head injuries. Dr. Lifshitz, an assistant professor at UK's Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center, along with other researchers used YouTube to find this response in athletes. Using the postings on this social media site allowed these researchers to examine the head injuries in many different sports and activities. YouTube often has the same incident of injury, but with various angles. A description of this response may be found in The Medical News. Tim Tebow, quarterback for the University of Florida exhibited this response at the moment of his head injury on Saturday (9/26). ESPN article with video.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Correct the mistake!

For the most part, exercise induced injuries are caused by a mistake. Granted, you may have a fastball hit you in the head, have contact with another athlete or have an unintended meeting with the ground. But if you are involved in an exercise or sport and you injure without contact, this injury was caused by a mistake. Now if we want to prevent injuries (which had better be our top priority), we need to learn how to identify the mistake and correct it. If we can not (or do not want to take the time) do this, this injury will reappear again. How many athletes have shin splints (medial tibial stress syndrome) year after year? Why are acl injuries at an epidemic level in female athletes? Is it a coincidence that there are so many hamstring strains in power sports? Questions, Questions… Shin splints can be prevented, acl injuries can be prevented, hamstring strains can be prevented. All it takes is educating the athlete about the need for conditioning and strengthening the body and not just body parts. (Maybe I should say educating the athlete, parent and coach about the need for conditioning and strengthening the body and not just body parts.)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

It is not a matter if... It is a matter when.

If you are going to be around sport and exercise, it is time to CYA! Liability in sport is no longer about the possibility of a lawsuit, it is more about when the lawsuit will be served. We are in a very litigious society. Not only are we facing the possibility of lawsuits, but we are also facing the strong arm of the law. This is actually a good thing. Nothing is more important than the athletes that we are attempting to help. Last August (2008), a sophomore football athlete in Kentucky collapsed and died (3 days later) from heat illness complications. The football coach was indicted on a charge of reckless homicide. He has now been indicted again the charge of wanton endangerment. The days of a coach denying water MUST end. There are many ways to control and discipline athletes. To endanger the health of an athlete in the name of discipline is not one of these. Take a look at this article… Ex-coach indicted on second charge in player's death

Monday, August 10, 2009

Warrior Girls

“Warrior Girls” (Michael Sokolove) may be the best book that I have read when it comes to the injury epidemic facing female athletes. Sokolove has written several pieces for the New Your Times and has taken a layman’s view to an epidemic that those of us in the healthcare field have either innocently overlooked in the name of caring for injured athletes or have “stuck our heads into the sand” denying that this is even a problem. Young female athletes (in my humble opinion) are competing in an arena that demands perfection, year-around practice and massive amounts of money spent by parents. They are doing this without the resources that are traditionally reserved for their male counterparts (access to quality strength training). I am sure that this will cause some descent among some, but the evidence is there! As an athletic trainer for more years than I can count, I can anecdotally account for a lopsided number of ACL injuries among our female athletes compared to our male athletes. You may disagree with me, but read before you solidify your decisions. The one thing to remember is that exercise induced injuries are caused by a mistake. An epidemic has formed because a preventable mistake has not been corrected.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Badwater Ultramarathon - the extreme

Just finished reading the article in the Arizona Republic about Perry Edinger running the Badwater Ultramarathon. Phoenix man completes Badwater Ultramarathon . What a great example of the demands placed on the body (physical and psychological)! 135 miles through Death Valley and up the the trailhead of Mt Whitney. To run 135 miles in less than 30 hours is incredible. To run 135 miles through Death Valley in July is unbelievable! Wow.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Welcome to the fall semester... I will be bouncing around between 3 different classes: HES 271, EXS 125 and HES 100 (all of these are related). Feel free to comment on anything posted. So that all cal feel comfortable, we need to keep this a professional blog and not a personal blog.